Jason Meyer (John Piper’s successor) resigns

https://julieroys.com/john-pipers-successor-resigns-amid-allegations-of-abusive-leadership-at-bethlehem-baptist/

The successor to John Piper at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis this week resigned in what appears to be a major shake-up at the church amid allegations of toxic and abusive leadership.

Piper’s successor, Jason Meyer, is the fourth pastor to resign from Bethlehem in the past four months.

“At Bethlehem . . . there’s harm being done,” Pickering said. “There’s unethical behavior. There’s domineering. There’s bullying. . . . cultural, damaging behavior that’s being done, and has been done, for a long time.”

In a statement from Pickering that elders read to the congregation last Sunday, Pickering further explained:

“I have seen several congregants (current and former), elders (current and former), and a former administrative assistant profoundly mistreated by elders in various ways. I have also seen leadership act in ways I would describe as domineering. I have also seen patterns of deception among our elders that are deeply concerning. I have tried on several occasions since early 2020 to speak up to others about these patterns of behavior. Increasingly in 2021, especially and intensely since March, I, too, have experienced what I would call bullying behavior. It is now clear to me that it is best for everyone for me to resign.”

Doesn’t look too good.

According to Kyle J. Howard, a preacher and racial and spiritual trauma counselor, the pastors’ exodus follows a push for reform at Bethlehem regarding the way the church treats minorities and women.

Howard said that in January 2019, Bethlehem brought him in to teach a full-day, staff intensive on racial trauma in the church.

Howard also attended an all-minority dinner with congregants that Pickering had arranged, according to Janice Perez Evans, a former member of Bethlehem who’s half Latina.

Uh oh, maybe too hasty of a conclusion there.

He added that prior to coming to Bethlehem, he had spoken with several Black pastors in Minneapolis, who all referred to Bethlehem as a “white church within a Black space that doesn’t actually engage . . . or relate to the Black community.” Howard said he also had spoken with several people who had been negatively impacted by John Piper’s theology of “marital permanence,” a theology maintaining that divorce is never justified, even in cases of abuse.

Ah yes, telling people that divorce is a sin is “negatively impacting” others.

Shortly after Howard’s intensive, Evans said she and several others proposed to the elders that the church establish a task force to examine whether the system at Bethlehem was racially biased. One of the main concerns, Evans said, was that few minorities sat on Bethlehem’s Elder Council. At the time, four of the 40-member Elder Council were minorities, she said.

Evans described the meeting as “excruciating,” saying the elders grilled both her and others about the proposal. Yet after the meeting, the elders commissioned a “Racial Harmony Task Force,” which Evans said she co-led with Pastor Meyer.

“It will probably go down in my life as one of the sweetest times I’ve seen the Holy Spirit come and work,” Evans said of her experience working with other task force members. “There was such a unity—and it wasn’t in a sense like we all agreed on everything. But it was safe in the sense that we were able to have disagreements as team members and talk through it.”

However, Evans said during this time, she began hearing from congregants and students at Bethlehem College and Seminary that elders were speaking against her and other task force members.

Pickering said he heard other elders express that they felt the task force had “Marxist” and “woke” tendencies, and possibly was driven by Critical Race Theory—a controversial academic movement seeking to explain issues of race and justice.

“That’s fear-mongering,” Evans said. “That wasn’t what drove us. We’re reading Scripture. We’re reading the Word. And we’ve been trained by all of you (the elders).”

Evans said she and the members of the task force put in over 800 hours researching the dynamics at Bethlehem, as well as other churches that had successfully become multi-ethnic. She said in the summer of 2019, the task force presented its 85-page report to the elders. (Evans said the task force had wanted to present the report directly to the congregation, but the elders insisted that the report go directly to them.)

Yup, now I’m beginning to side with the elders on this. Churches don’t have to be multi-ethnic to effectively serve God. There’s tons of one type of group Churches (e.g. Orthodox Churches for certain ethnic or nation groups, black or asian Churches, Spanish or certain language speaking Churches, etc.) Sure, some or many people prefer that they do, but when they’re trying to do it under the guise of CRT or any other feminist and woke philosophies that’s a no go.

Of course, the other people said they weren’t doing it under the guise of CRT and such, but in general focusing on these things even in good faith generally produces the exact same result. It is a distraction from the gospel. It’s imputing the “virtue” of multi-culturalism from feminism and adding it to the Bible.

I’m not saying there are no issues at the Church when we don’t know the whole story, but it looks like their Church was infiltrated and influenced from within by worldly philosophies. Aaron Renn also had an article on Jason Meyer’s teaching on leadership abuse which appears to demonstrate that Meyer pulled his teaching straight from the Duluth model and passed it off as Biblical. Ironically, Kathy Keller is a severe abuser under that model when she threw the expensive china and tried to pass it off as a “godly tantrum.”

“It should be alarming when you have a multitude of pastors or leaders leave all within a very short period of time,” Howard said. “But what I would want to caution us from is to not only look at the power figures but to recognize that these leaders are the overflow of a congregation loss. There have been numerous people who have left that church, especially minorities, and . . . a lot of women, a lot of battered wives . . . (who) are still healing from that space.”

The sin of “not being multi-cultural.” While I agree with Piper that marriage is permanent, Piper seems to not cue in on 1 Corinthians 7:10-11a — To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. — that separation may be an option especially if there is a continued pattern of physical violence without evidence of change.

On the other hand, when you start to compromise with the world some it’s almost to be expected that you’re going to get more people who agree with the world coming to your Church. Eventually you’re going to have to fight with them once they want to keep on doing things related with the world and you won’t go there. Then they’ll pass off your fight against not doing things of the world as “fear mongering” and “abuse” and “domineering” and “bullying.” Stating the Biblical view of marriage is permanent and divorce as a sin is suddenly “negatively impacting” people and considered abuse. If that’s the case, then any of God’s commands can be warped into a sin if someone feels like they’re being “negatively impacted.”

All in all, it appears the main lesson to be learned from this is don’t let any of that garbage into the Church in the first place and stop taking “virtue” lessons from the feminism and culture.

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16 Responses to Jason Meyer (John Piper’s successor) resigns

  1. Anonymous Reader says:

    Aaron Renn also had an article on Jason Meyer’s teaching on leadership abuse which appears to demonstrate that Meyer pulled his teaching straight from the Duluth model and passed it off as Biblical. Ironically, Kathy Keller is a severe abuser under that model when she threw the expensive china and tried to pass it off as a “godly tantrum.”

    Thanks for that link to Aaron Renn. Any time I detect even a whiff of Duluth, that’s a very bad sign. When I first read of the resignation at Piper’s church I was curious, but did not make the time to dig further. Duluth + CRT = totally bad news.

    You are wrong about Kathy Keller, though[1]. It is impossible for a woman to be an abuser under the Duluth Protocol, no matter what she does. That’s not an accident or a bug, that’s a design feature.

    Fortunately the Duluth protocol is too extreme for many younger feminists, so if a woman pounded on her husband / boyfriend / whatever with a hammer she would probably wind up in jail and one of the mandatory 1-year classes. Probably, depending on who’s in charge of her local crisis/abuse center.

    By the way, there is a multi-link series on Mark Driscoll at the Christianity Today website. I have not yet listened to it, because I dislike podcasts and prefer to read transcripts. The reporter interviews a number of people who were involved in Mars Hill church (“The decline and fall of Mark Driscoll”) and a third covers Driscoll’s current church in Scottsdale, Arizona. If you wish those links I can easily post them here.

    [1] That post of Dalrock’s was extremely interesting to me at the time. It explained to me why Kathy Keller was on a denominational commission to study women in the church – IMO she’s one of those aging feminists who really, really wants women to be deacons – because from there, it becomes easier to make them pastors. Women simply must become pastors because “equality” and “true complementarity” and fairness and stuff.

  2. @ AR

    Yeah, post the links. Let’s see what’s up.

  3. Oscar says:

    According to Kyle J. Howard, a preacher and racial and spiritual trauma counselor…

    What the hell is a “racial and spiritual trauma counselor”?

    Churches don’t have to be multi-ethnic to effectively serve God.

    Curiously, no one ever tells T.D. Jakes that his church’s monoethnicity is “problematic”.

    Of course, this is Piper’s fault. He opened up his church to feminism and effeminacy, which Dalrock documented (his blog remains a treasure trove).

    https://dalrock.wordpress.com/2019/10/22/an-earnest-defense-of-john-macarthurs-chivalry/

    28. Do you think women are more gullible than men?

    First Timothy 2:14 says, “Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.” Paul gives this as one of the reasons why he does not permit women “to teach or have authority over a man.” Historically this has usually been taken to mean that women are more gullible or deceivable than men and therefore less fit for the doctrinal oversight of the church. This may be true (see question 29). However, we are attracted to another understanding of Paul’s argument. We think that Satan’s main target was not Eve’s peculiar gullibility (if she had one), but rather Adam’s headship as the one ordained by God to be responsible for the life of the garden. Satan’s subtlety is that he knew the created order God had ordained for the good of the family, and he deliberately defied it by ignoring the man and taking up his dealings with the woman…

    If this is the proper understanding, then what Paul meant in 1 Timothy 2:14 was this: “Adam was not deceived (that is, Adam was not approached by the deceiver and did not carry on direct dealings with the deceiver)… ~ Drs. John Piper and Wayne Grudem

    Note the passive, effeminate wording; “we are attracted to another understanding”. Not, “we’ve arrived at a different conclusion”, or “we interpret Paul’s words differently”.

    Nope.

    Piper is a passive, effeminate mama’s boy, and that always leads to wokeness eventually.

    PS: The post’s title was ironic. Dalrock praised Pastor MacArthur for telling Beth Moore to “go home”.

  4. Anonymous Reader says:

    I think this covers it.

    https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/podcasts/rise-and-fall-of-mars-hill/who-killed-mars-hill-church-mark-driscoll-rise-fall.html

    https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/podcasts/quick-to-listen/rise-fall-mars-hill-mark-driscoll-podcast.html

    Wait, though, I checked the search tool at CT and found new stuff: former elders of Mars Hill are calling on Driscoll to resign from the Arizona church.
    https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2021/july/mars-hill-elders-letter-mark-driscoll-pastor-resign-trinity.html

    It is interesting, back a few years when Dalrock and his commenters were dissecting Mark “How Dare You” Driscoll, local men here told me none of their church leaders had even heard of him. Even the Driscoll Sex Manual didn’t get any negative attention. Today the younger, early 30’s pastors know a lot about Driscoll, and universally despise him, for various reasons.

  5. Anonymous Reader says:

    Wait, one more thing I found, looks like it has a transcript attached as well as the podcast.

    https://julieroys.com/podcast/inside-the-driscoll-cult/

  6. Oscar says:

    @ AR

    I’m pretty embarrassed to admit that I didn’t do any research into Mark and any of his antics up in Seattle. I just assumed the fact that he had a church meant that he had elders and the fact that he must be restored because well, he has a church. Shame on me. ~ Benjamin Enas

    Gullibility is not a fruit of the Spirit.

  7. Red Pill Apostle says:

    “28. Do you think women are more gullible than men?”

    I remember reading the answer Piper wrote to this question and scratching my head over it. Of course Satan was attacking headship. If you are attacking, you want to win. If you want to win, you pick your best chance at winning which is the opposition’s weakness. Eve’s greater propensity to be deceived actually exposed Adam’s weakness of supplication. You don’t have to be a biblical scholar fluent in ancient languages to know this. It’s right there plain for anyone to see in their own language. What I have found to be telling are the knots supposedly good teachers will tie themselves into fitting scripture in to culture. In this case, Piper skipped the classic knots and went straight for the tangle.

  8. Elspeth says:

    What the hell is a “racial and spiritual trauma counselor”?

    I was wondering the same thing.

  9. Anonymous Reader says:

    FYI DS:
    There is a comment stuck in moderation, probably because it has three links to CT’s podcast on Driscoll.

  10. @ AR

    Released them.

    The interesting thing about Driscoll is that masculinity is sorely needed which is why he started getting so popular.

    Unfortunately, he mangled it into hyper-chivalry and his character seems to be bad too given what happened at Mars Hill and his new Church. A pity honestly. Hope he is able to repent and make amends.

  11. Anonymous Reader says:

    The interesting thing about Driscoll is that masculinity is sorely needed which is why he started getting so popular.

    Yes.

    Unfortunately, he mangled it into hyper-chivalry and his character seems to be bad too given what happened at Mars Hill and his new Church.

    Wasn’t he part of that “Young, Restless Reformed” group? I’m afraid that Driscoll is something of a cult-of-personality guy. That would account for the way he ran Mars Hill; if I remember right, there was no real leadership group, just him and his assistants. Late in the Seattle drama he formed an “accountability group” including John Piper, and I laughed out loud at the obvious fakery of it all.

    Plus…apparently he did some damage to his own staff out at Mars Hill. Imagine being mid-20’s, fresh out of seminary and getting hired by Driscoll to work in that church. It would not surprise me if some of those men just went and got some other job.

    A pity honestly. Hope he is able to repent and make amends.

    An open question that is way above my pay grade. But I can warn people about cult-of-personality orgs.

  12. @ AR

    Wasn’t he part of that “Young, Restless Reformed” group? I’m afraid that Driscoll is something of a cult-of-personality guy. That would account for the way he ran Mars Hill; if I remember right, there was no real leadership group, just him and his assistants. Late in the Seattle drama he formed an “accountability group” including John Piper, and I laughed out loud at the obvious fakery of it all.

    Never heard of that. However, we do know that he married his wife and she lied about having pre-marital sex and it nearly destroyed him.

    Not sure if that’s an offshoot of that where he needs to be some type of bad boy now to make up for it or something else.

  13. Anonymous Reader says:

    However, we do know that he married his wife and she lied about having pre-marital sex and it nearly destroyed him.

    Thanks for the reminder. That was another long comment thread at Dalrock’s.

    Not sure if that’s an offshoot of that where he needs to be some type of bad boy now to make up for it or something else.

    Pretty likely his wife’s prior experience was a major impetus for Driscoll’s sex manual. At the time I thought that was remarkably foolish and tacky, and time has not changed my opinion. Much of this would be just history if it weren’t for the fact that apparently he’s repeating the drama again in a church with attendance of 2,000.

  14. Oscar says:

    @ AR & DS

    Pretty likely his wife’s prior experience was a major impetus for Driscoll’s sex manual.

    I bet it had a lot to do with his “how dare you” rant, as well. Misery loves company.

    Much of this would be just history if it weren’t for the fact that apparently he’s repeating the drama again in a church with attendance of 2,000.

    Shocking, isn’t it? Why would anyone (much less 2,000 people) attend his new church after his antics at Mars Hill became public knowledge?

  15. Gunner Q says:

    “What the hell is a “racial and spiritual trauma counselor”?”

    I’d guess “not a white man”.

  16. Oscar says:

    @ Gunner

    Good guess.

    https://pulpitandpen.org/2019/08/12/critical-race-theorist-kyle-j-howard-says-its-okay-to-forsake-the-assembly/

    Kyle J. Howard was raised by both African and Caucasian parents, who were both attorneys, in a high-privilege home in an affluent suburb. Because Critical Race Theory requires the narrative of victimology, Howard made up a false life story that included secretly belonging to a gang and having taken part in the thug life, but the story couldn’t be further from the truth. Because Critical Race Theory embraces “story-telling” over objective facts and empiricism, we’re not allowed (supposedly) to doubt his testimony or question his fantastical experiences.

    Well, baloney to that.

    Howard uses the word “abuse” through the analytical tool of Critical Race Theory, and refers to the perceived subjective experiences of a coalition of minority identity groups that include ethnic minorities, women, homosexuals, the transgender, and other kinds of (real or perceived) victims.

    Another good guess would be the kind of “race problem solver” described by Booker T. Washington.

    https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/542300-there-is-another-class-of-coloured-people-who-make-a

    There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs — partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.

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